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Netherlands causes hilarity with use of Brexit ‘monster’ to issue warning to citizens

Dutch minister Stef Blok takes an unusual approach to promote Brexit risks to the Netherlands. Photograph: Stef Blok/Twitter. - Credit: Archant

The Netherlands has caused hilarity after it used a Brexit “monster” to issue a warning to its citizens.

A picture of Netherland’s Brexit mascot handing out ‘Get Ready’ flyers at an EU port has stirred up a hilarious reaction online.

The giant Muppet, dubbed by British media as Project Fur, has appeared at the port of Rotterdam handing out information on Brexit to truck drivers a year on since the character was created by the Dutch government to prepare businesses for Britain’s exit from the trading bloc.

The mascot was created in 2019 to depict the UK’s departure as an obstructive Muppet causing office annoyance.

In February of that year, Netherlands’ foreign minister, Stef Blok, tweeted a picture of himself with the enormous furry blue creature, who wears a white T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Brexit” in big red letters, stretched out over his desk.

In the message, Blok asked if businesses had “checked what consequences Brexit has for you or your company,” before advising the public to “make sure Brexit doesn’t get – or lie – in your way”.

But after more than a year in hiding, Project Fur has made a miraculous reappearance as part of the Dutch’s government’s Get Ready for Brexit campaign.

From January 1, lorries delivering good into the EU will require a permit. This is expected to cause chaos at Britain’s borders and could become more problematic if the UK leaves the transition period without a trade deal.

MORE: Nearly 45% of businesses are unprepared for Brexit, survey finds

This comes after the chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), Richard Burnett, last week labelled the government’s Brexit border proceedings a “complete shambles”.

Burnett wrote to cabinet minister Michael Gove warning that delays in sharing the new IT software needed for the transport of goods into the EU will leave many hauliers unprepared for the end of the transition period.

MORE: Brexit border checks trial ends in five-mile-long lorry queue in Kent

A picture of the monster in his iconic t-shirt with its arms raised received several hilarious responses on Twitter.

“With a month to go you’d get more sense from a bloke in a costume than any minister,” quipped Ricky Webb.

“Aptly named! Soon to be joined by the Brexit Nightmare!” wrote John F Murray.

Tom asked if Project Fur wanted to “pop over to Kent” while Adam asked where he could buy the character’s “fantastic t-shirt”.

@vichartas reflected: “You should have had him on the Today programme every day instead of Nigel Farage.”

@Matty14921 noted the similarities between Boris Johnson and the large blue figure. “Johnson in a t-shirt wouldn’t look that different,” he joked, adding, “[he] could hand out leaflets with his oven ready deal on it.”

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